Nanban dishes are found in Japanese cuisine. It simply refers to anything that has or soaked in sweet and sour sauce. This has greatly evolved though and as with many Japanese dish it has foreign influence or roots, specifically Portuguese. They probably introduced sweet and sauce where vinegar is heavily used as a seasoning. It’s taste is similar to their escabeche.
To make you will need a block a of tofu. I used extra firm for this recipe because I prefer it’s texture. Cut into rectangular blocks, drain and pat dry with paper towels. Note: I wrapped these in paper towels for about 5-8 minutes to make sure extra moisture is removed.
Add enough oil to a small non-stick pan and place on medium high heat. Once it’s hot carefully add your tofu slices and fry until golden brown and crispy on the outside. This will take around 3-5 minutes per side. Set aside and drain on paper towels.
In another pan, add 2 tbsp. soy sauce, 2 tbsp. rice vinegar, 2 tbsp. sugar, 2 tbsp. mirin and let it come to a boil, lower heat and add your fried tofu. Let the sauce soak into the tofu by flipping several times while allowing the sauce to thicken and caramelize a bit.
To serve, arrange your tofu slices in a plate and pour some tartar sauce on top. Add some side salad or any greens you prefer.
P.S. To make tartar sauce, I chopped 2 hard boiled eggs and added a couple of tablespoons of Japanese Mayo and a tsp. of sweet relish.